The influence of context condition on outcome evaluation in experimental conditions: Even vs. neutral.

Affiliation

School of Psychology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, China. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Feedback-related negativity (FRN) is an event-related brain potential that is elicited during outcome evaluation. Studies have found that FRN reflects a good vs. bad classification; more importantly, FRN reflects this classification in a context-dependent manner, which means that the outcome evaluation is obviously influenced by its embedded context. In the current study, we examined how the context conditions of even (i.e., the feedback was +4 or -4) and neutral (i.e., the feedback was always 0) affect the outcome evaluation in experimental conditions (gain and loss). The experimental conditions of gain (i.e., the feedback was +4 or 0) and loss (i.e., the feedback was 0 or -4) were presented with the even condition as the context in one section and with the neutral condition as the context in another section. The ERP (event-related potential) results of the two experimental conditions showed that the unfavorable outcome evoked more negative FRN than the favorable outcome in both even and neutral sections, however, the amplitude difference between unfavorable and favorable outcomes was greater in neutral section than in even section. Furthermore, the favorable outcomes evoked more positive FRN in the neutral section than in the even section. These results indicate that the context condition modulates outcome evaluation, in neutral context, the discrimination between favorable and unfavorable outcome is better, which might due to the facilitated identification of favorable outcomes in neutral context.

Keywords

Context condition,Context dependent effect,Feedback-related negativity (FRN),Monetary incentive delay (MID) task,Outcome evaluation,